Recently I discovered an artist John and his website, HelloArtsy.
John is a drawing and painting instructor and his website is full of wonderful tutorials, videos, art “how-to’s” and lessons.
I checked out his step-by-step 2-Point Perspective tutorial and his simple guidelines and clear images seemed so “do-able” that he convinced me to try my hand at some 2-point perspective sketches!
The image below looks complicated, right? But if you sit with pencil and ruler and a scrap of paper and work along with him step-by-step, you will arrive at quite amazing results!
I encourage you to bookmark this website and work through some of John’s art tips and tutorials during your Fine Arts sessions with your children in this new year.
In our Art Appreciation lessons we love to copy great art works and images. An easy way to accurately copy pictures is by using a grid. Here are some of our Peerneef artworks we painted using a grid ~
Instead of drawing the grid from scratch each time, I created transparent grid lines on MSWord in several sizes which you can lay over any image. Here’s your free download ~ Transparent grid
To create your own grid over a picture do the following ~
- Download and save the Transparent Grid to your computer.
- Open a new Word document.
- Insert the image you want to use for your art work. You need to click”Wrap Text” on the top menu and select “In Front of Text” so that you can freely move and position your image.
- Open the Transparent Grid doc and select and copy the grid size best suited for your image. (Use the very small blocks for very detailed pictures, or the large grid blocks for larger shaped images)
- Paste the grid over your image and position as needed.
- You can work directly from your computer screen onto your own art paper or print out your image with the grid.
Here’s an important CHEAT ~ You can create a pencil sketch of your image using the free photo editing package “Picasa“.
Open the image in Picasa, select the blue icon “Even more fun and useful image processing” button, click the “Pencil Sketch” option, and “Save as”. Now insert this outline image in your grid for even easier copying!
Prepare your own art page and create a grid to match your printout, in the same ratio of blocks across in rows and down the side, but these blocks can be larger than your printout if you want to enlarge your image. In other words, if your grid image has 4 blocks across and 5 blocks down, then your art page should also have 4 across and 5 down. If the printout grid lines are 2 x 2 cm, you can create your art page grid lines 4 x 4 cm (or larger) so that your new image is larger and fills your art page.
Now you are ready to sketch the image on your grid printout or on your computer screen.
- Work block by block, copying the lines, angles and shapes in that block.
- Use where the shapes intersect the grid lines as your measure.
- Work with the large shapes first and then add the details.
- Once you have your outline, gently erase the grid lines and you are ready to paint!
But there is an easier way! Art Tutor has an excellent Grid Tool that does this all for you ~ http://www.griddrawingtool.com/ Simply follow the step-by-step tutor and download and save your grid image to your computer.
So now you can recreate any image or picture on your page using the grid lines as guides to make your own art! Enjoy!
Art is about creativity and inspiration, but many moms avoid teaching art in their homeschool because it is often seen as messy and unpredictable.
Here’s what to avoid in your art lessons — with helpful practical hints to do instead ~
Too focussed on the end product
Inexperienced moms and insecure children often look for a “cookie-cutter” approach to successful art lessons. Typically these art lessons give step-by-step instructions which always result in similar outcomes. This often kills creativity.
Always look for an opportunity to teach important art concepts, techniques, or history, and find ways to tie as much learning and personal choice as you can into every project you do with your students. It is important for the art teacher to know what to do and how to do it, but it is more important to allow the child to discover and create and enjoy the artistic process without feeling afraid that it “won’t come out right”.
A gentle, informal approach to fine arts is really effective! After years of teaching art, I found that most real creativity is often spontaneous and requires a sense of freedom. Avoid tedious technical lessons, or using mediums that require great skill and ability or processes that frighten and exasperate children. Rather let the child practice with a new medium or process on scrap paper and then apply this to another process. This encourages exploration and discovery and will increase the child’s artistic skills.
Plan art lessons in manageable time frames. Young children need shorter lessons, while older children can work for longer periods. It is always difficult to pack away art and try restart the process another time. Homeschoolers can devote a whole day to fine arts and complete rather complex art activities, if they want.
Plan and schedule art and do it with your children! It is a wonderful way to build relationships and grow in creativity together.
What have you found works in your art lessons?
For a while my 12-year-old has
avoided been reluctant about her art. So sad. Somehow, her perfectionism got in the way of her creativity. And, perhaps I focused too seriously on Charlotte Mason art appreciation lessons rather than presenting her simple art fun.
I was delighted when I came across this book at our local library ~
A Usborne Activities 365 Things to Draw and Paint by Fiona Watt
According to the title, this book offers amazing art activities for every day for a whole year! Actually, each double page layout presents several interconnected ideas, and so you have about 126 lessons here instead of 365.
Much to my delight, Miss.L12 immediately tagged about 30 pages and we decided to try to do one a day!
Here is how fabulous Miss.L12 felt about her first art lesson!
And I’m smiling too!
What I like about these art activities is the simplicity of the lesson combined with an exploration of different creative techniques such as printing, rubbings, splatters, cutting out, doodles … superb creative fun!
Here is our “Laboratory Experiments” activity with blowing, splatter and print art elements ~
And here is our “Printed Fruit & Vegetables” with finger painting, print techniques and rubbings for the fruit crates. Again, huge success!
I’m doing these art activities along with my daughter and we are having such a lovely creative time!
I guess that I am going to renew this library book several times! [smiles]
This year we started our art lessons using the highly recommended book ~
Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes
To begin, Mona Brookes suggests you teach the 5 Basic Elements of Shape.
Download my free pdf. version of her chart ~ The 5 basic elements of shape
Then she begins each lesson with some warm-up activities. They are aimed to teach to artist to look carefully and to reinforce the 5 basic elements of shape.
First Warm up ~
- copy the design in the block a few times
- carefully look at line shapes, spaces, angles
- practice mirror images
Next warm up ~
- Simple oral instructions (e.g.: Take a thick marker and draw 2 lines across the paper from one edge to another edge. They may cross or touch each other…)
- Some abstract designs (e.g.: Now take a thin marker and make 3 dots anywhere on the page, but one must touch a line. Now draw a curved line that starts in the middle of one of your dots ….)
- Fill in with patters and colour (e.g.: colour in the spaces between lines and shapes with patterns and coloured markers)
- and Viola! An abstract masterpiece!
We created a lovely grid design during another warm-up ~
- We completed the mirror image exercise and coloured in the designs. Cut up our coloured blocks and placed them into a basket We each randomly selected about 6 or so blocks
- Now we copied the selected design down the left side of our basic grid.
- We had to create a mirror image of the design down the opposite right-hand column and make our own designs to fill the center column.
- Finally we coloured in the grid.
- A lovely warm-up!
I looked for more specific lesson plans based on this book on the internet and found ~
- Drawing with Children Nature Journal Style with printable lesson plans. Barb (of Harmony Art Mom) created an excellent Squidoo lens and she developed lessons using different art mediums and Mona’s lesson principles and applied it to a nature-themed art activity. They look excellent, simple and practical, and I can’t wait to get to them soon.
- Donna Young.org art lessons and free warm exercise pages based on Mona’s book.
Next week I’ll share the key to drawing a still life – the Mona Brooke way!
Are any of you using or enjoying these lessons? Tell us about them in the comments.